REDMOND, Wash. — Investcorp has agreed to acquire 70 percent of Helly Hansen International, a Moss, Norway-based manufacturer of high performance sailing and outdoor apparel, for $112 million.
The stake will be purchased from two Norwegian firms, Orkla of Norway and Aker RGI.
Under the terms of the agreement, Investcorp will acquire Aker RGI’s entire 50 percent stake in Helly Hansen, and 20 percent from Orkla. Orkla will continue to own 30 percent of Helly Hansen. The Helly Hansen enterprise was valued at $160 million in the transaction, which is expected to be completed by May.
Helly Hansen was founded in Norway in 1877, and its lines currently include technically oriented outdoor wear, skiwear and workwear. A company spokeswoman noted that about 65 percent of the company’s business is men’s, with the remaining 35 percent women’s sales. In 1996, the company, whose U.S. operation is based here, had $53 million in sales in North America, according to the spokeswoman.
Johannes P. Hugh, a member of Investcorp’s management committee, said in a statement, “The acquisition of Helly Hansen is consistent with our investment philosophy: focusing on companies possessing recognized brand or trade names with a strong strategic position, significant growth opportunities and an excellent management team.”
Investcorp, a Bahrain-based investment operation, scored big profits when it cashed out its holdings in Tiffany and Gucci Group. It continues to hold a stake in Saks Fifth Avenue.
Gordon McFadden, North American president for Helly Hansen, added, “Investcorp’s success with worldwide brands like Gucci, Tiffany and Saks Fifth Avenue, will project itself very well in building the global brand identity for Helly Hansen.”

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